Everybody loves the smell of Beacon.

Retail. So hot right now. And with the advent of beacons, it’s getting even hotter.

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Beacons are poised to be quintessential for a plethora of functions – for transit systems, educational institutions and enterprises. Most importantly, for us, retailers can really take advantage of the technology. It allows retailers and event planners to send flash sales, messages and deals straight to a customer’s phone while they are within the radius of the beacon. The only catch – mobile users must first turn their bluetooth on and also accept notifications.

So will widespread adoption happen soon? Currently the players are Apple (with no hardware) with PayPal and Qualcomm edging in slowly.

Asia Tour

I’ve been traveling through Asia for the past 3 weeks and I always enjoy pointing out the differences between countries in Asia and the Unites States. Mostly they involve the level of cleanliness of bathrooms, but a lot of it is around technology. Let’s face it: folks in Asia use technology a lot more efficiently, and a lot COOLER than us. (E.g., their escalators stop when not in use, and start when someone hops on)

One thing that I really enjoyed was the unique ways that people advertised – today’s example is from Bangkok. On the BTS stations (air train) in Bangkok, all the doors at the stations have digital ads. My favorite one, though, was a hair ad (I believe Pantene?) and whenever trains arrived and left, the hair on the model blew. Loved it!

Open Data for All!

Open mHealth is non-profit startup building open software architecture to break down the barriers in mobile health to integration among mHealth solutions and unlock the potential for mHealth.

What makes Open mHealth unique is the fact that all available health apps can be “mixed and matched” with open APIs, as well as open proprietary software modules, to create more impactful and useable experiences for patients.

One such example is in the Type I Diabetes project. Normally, there are apps to keep track of blood sugar levels (e.g. Glooko Logbook) or apps to show sugar content in food products (e.g. Fooducate). Instead, Open mHealth is allowing for various partnerships and open data streaming betweens apps to connect into one overall experience for the user. Example apps are Body Media for tracking fitness, RunKeeper for tracking your runs and MyGlucoHealth meters. Every app streams data into a data visualization dashboard that is viewable by both your doctor and yourself via your mobile device.

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Anybody in the healthcare space can take advantage of this technology. Relevant to us, we can advise our clients to utilize the patient-centric approach. Kaiser Permanente is already partnering with Open mHealth to create a Type II Diabetes experience.

Also – if we’re constantly touting the fact that we’re truly CUSTOMER FIRST, then these apps should be the way through, in terms of health management.